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Two weeks after Michael Woods crashed out of Paris-Nice, he was in Girona, Spain, his broken right femur on the mend. “I’ve been crutching outside to get my blood checked,” he said. The EF Pro Cycling rider was taking blood thinners following his surgery. “I go about 1.5 km from my place. It’s a good workout.” Because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Spain, the country had been on lockdown since March 14. Woods found the empty streets of Girona eerie.

After the crash, Woods was taken to a hospital in Lyon, France. He didn’t remember much from his time there as he was on strong painkillers. He figured he came in just ahead of any coronavirus-related surge in that area of France as the building seemed quiet. Woods didn’t stay in the hospital for long. His parents came to hurry him to Spain – where he trains in the colder months – before the border was to close.

After the stress of the crash and the hasty departure from France, Woods could relax. In late March, he was avoiding the Internet, reading and enjoying time with his daughter who wasn’t yet two months old. His snuggle buddy Max, short for Maxine, was a perfect lockdown partner as she was too young to walk and was just starting to smile.

“In the leadup to Paris-Nice, I’d been putting in big training hours and I was not as present at home as I would have liked to have been,” Woods said. “So, this has been a nice opportunity to hit the reset button. From a health perspective, that means gaining a bit of weight, just kind of fattening up a bit. I want to get a big recovery block in, and then be mentally fresh for whatever is left in the season and for 2021.”

The Canadian Cycling Magazine Podcast thanks Ontario Creates for its support.

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